Balancing Penn Foster studies with work and family demands
Balancing studies, work and family is not easy. One of my greatest worries before I joined college were how I would manage to pass my exams while I still work on shift, and still go home to a family that needs me to organize everything around the house. I always thought everything would work out when the time comes, but now that the time is here everything seems a little complicated. Sometimes the overload becomes too overwhelming and makes me feel like giving up, but I remind myself that I must do something to create a balance between the three aspects of my life that mean everything to me.
There are times I have toyed with the idea of suspending my Penn Foster studies for a while, but then I realize that things will never change. Even if I decide to suspend my Penn Foster studies and resume at a later date, life will still be the same. I will still have a family to take care of, and work. There is a lot of demand from work, studies, and family, and fatigue comes with the territory. Sometimes I am so tired to study or do any chores at home. I have snapped at my family members for no reason at all and this lack of balance sometimes affects my personality too.
Despite all the challenges, I always ensure that my family is my top priority. However, I need to make smart choices that will help me achieve some kind of stability with my online studies, work, and family. The good thing about online studies is that I get to study from home and at the same time take care of my family. I therefore believe that it will not be that hard to finally balance my work, studies, and family.
To help me balance my studies, work, and family, I decided to purchase a daily planner. I decided to buy a day planner because it is portable and I can go anywhere I want with it. The day planner helps me organize my life on a day to day basis. I write down each day’s activities, and what I should achieve by the end of the day. I put a tick on each chore I complete. My daily schedule is also timed. So far, my daily planner has helped me manage time and I can now do things that I initially thought I could not do. Balancing work, studies, and family all boils down to proper time management. It is amazing how much one can do with limited time.
However, not every important aspect of my life can be managed using a day planner, for instance family. Apart from the day planner, I also have a diary where I record my most valued priorities and goals. From my diary, I get to attend to things that I feel matter the most on a given day. That way, I ensure that I do not put too much attention on studies and forget my family or too much focus on studies and forget family and work. For example, if I spend a weekend immersed in work and studies, I make sure I make time for my family the following weekend.
Sharing family responsibilities is also an efficient way of creating balance between work, studies and family (The LexLine 16). I have therefore delegated responsibilities to each of my family members so that I do not juggle everything on my own. My family has always been so supportive of my work and studies and has no problem helping around the house while I take a nap after a hard day’s work or study. The fact that I do not have to always worry about household chores and other family responsibilities has given me ample time to manage my study schedule, and work. My day planner, diary and delegation of duties has been a life saver for me, and I can confidently say that I no longer feel too overwhelmed with everything, and there is a balance between my online studies, work, and family.
The LexLine. Tips to improve Work and Family Balance. Burlington: The Lexington Group, 2010.